Alyssa Kroeker returned to Penticton from New Brunswick with a shiny silver medal.
The member of the Okanagan Similkameen Wrestling Club felt good about returning with a medal from the Freestyle Wrestling National Championships.
However, she would have preferred a better performance against Ontario’s Emily Schaefer in the 46-kilogram weight class.
“I feel like I learned a couple new moves just from watching others,” she said. “I saw some good matches in the finals.”
Kroeker felt overwhelmed, especially after watching provincial action in Penticton.
“I never thought that would happen with me,” she said. “When it did at nationals it was like ‘Oh my God this is happening.’”
Kroeker was among eight competitors in her group. One thing she learned is that Ontario wrestlers have their own way of doing things. Against Schaefer, Kroeker faced a big and more aggressive foe.
Kroeker’s coach, Robert Kroeker, said it was a good experience for her.
“It was nice to put the OSWC on the map,” he said.
Robert saw a focused wrestler during her match.
“Her goal was to be in the medals,” he said. “I think that was part of the heavy pressure she put on herself. She did have high expectations to perform to come back with something. Part of it was not letting other people down.”
That group includes others who helped with coaching and sponsors.
“I think she wrestled smart in the semifnal match. Wasn’t as aggressive,” he said. “She was more of a defensive wrestler and reacted.”
Another aspect she enjoyed were the friends made.
“That was fun. I will keep in touch with them,” she said.